Tag Archives: birthday

Chocolate and Lemon Tarts

13 Sep

This summer was a tart filled summer. Tarts are surprisingly easy to make and turn out pretty fluted edges with no effort. You can make all types of tarts because there are so many types of crusts that be used. Flaky butter pie crusts for sweet or savory tarts and graham, shortbread or cookie crusts for sweet tarts. Plus, most of the time you only need to bake the crust and not the filling so it’s very easy. The pan I used in California was a scratched up 9″ aluminum pan I got for $2 at the thrift shop. I have a non-stick 10″ pan with a removable bottom at home in NY. I totally recommend the latter. It was a Christmas gift purchased from Crate and Barrel in my annual Cousins Secret Santa. Thanks Lisa!

Sour Cream Lemon Tart

I made a lemon tart following this recipe. It’s basically a pudding thickened with corn starch and egg yolk with lemon juice and sour cream stirred in. It’s really simple to make, especially if you use a store bought refrigerator pastry crust like I did. The result was tasty but didn’t look amazing. The zest is visible and it was difficult to smooth out the filling. It also didn’t set well at all. We drove this to the final destination and one hard stop caused the filling to shift out of the crust. Tasty but not very presentable.

after the car ride

I made the chocolate satin tart for a friend’s birthday party. I let him pick a dessert and he said anything with chocolate! It’s kind of funny because chocolate would have been the last thing I would have chosen but I have to accommodate the birthday boy! It took me a long time to decide what to make because it had to be a chocolate dessert that was portable and would survive a hot car ride to New Jersey. Chocolate cake/cupcakes would have been too fragile, cheesecake/mousse/puddings would have melted, and brownies weren’t special enough.

The recipe I used turned out to be perfect because the filling was very sturdy. That’s probably because it’s mainly chocolate! It’s almost like a firm chocolate ganache tart. The crust was made from shortbread cookies, butter and sugar. The recipe is very easy. The only thing I changed was to replace the rosemary/mint for a tablespoon of instant coffee granules. Coffee brings out the rich chocolate flavor.

The birthday boy loved the dessert. He also got a store bought cappuccino birthday cake but this 10″ tart was able to serve ~14 people. Since it’s so rich, a smaller slice is preferable. Milk is highly recommended!

What chocolate dessert would you have chosen to make?

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Carrot Birthday Cake

29 Apr

Monday was my sister’s birthday so I baked her a cake. I had a really hard time deciding what to make because I was stressed out. Finally I decided on a carrot cake because, well, carrot cakes are tasty. I’ll refrain from posting her age.. let’s say we like to regress. Haha.

my first 2 tiered cake

I used the recipe shared by userealbutter, I love her site. The recipe is really easy to make and came out delicious. This cake was 1.5x the cake recipe and 2x the frosting recipe. I used up almost all of the frosting trying to make it look nice. I still suck at frosting cakes apparently. I should stick to fondant..

mmm carrot cake with cream cheese frosting

hello kitty

I also made some hello kitty cake pops using bakerella‘s tutorial.

chocolate cake pops

We ate at Deluxe Diner near Columbia. Food was decent for a diner and the restaurant had a nice atmosphere. Dad’s steak was over done and the meatloaf wasn’t amazing but the salmon and mushroom risotto, turkey club and burger were good. I totally regret ordering this burger… along with the giant beef pattie, it had 2 sausages, cheese, bacon, caramelized onions, roasted tomatoes, and lettuce. Fries were great. *jiggles stomach*

new york burger

Burger Birthday Cake and Cupcake Pops!

29 Jul

Happy Birthday to my brother Jason! I did a lot of research and with the help of my siblings, we put it all together. Presenting…. the best burger cake ever!

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Isn’t it amazing?!?!

Supplies:
Yellow cake mix
Devil’s food cake
9″ round pans
Large glass bowl
Fondant (I used the marshmallow recipe)
Frosting
Shortening for greasing pans and working with fondant
Food coloring
Green fruit roll up

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Bake the yellow cake mix for the buns. Put less than half the batter in the 9″ round and the rest of the batter in the large glass bowl. I tried to do it so that the diameter of the bottom of the top “bun” is also 9″ in diameter. Grease the pans and bowl with a lot of shortening to ensure the cakes come out. You can also use parchment paper for the bottom of the pan, just cut out a circle to fit the pan.

Make the fondant by nuking the marshmallows with some water, grease your hands and surface then mix in the powdered sugar a bit at a time until it stretches nice and smooth. I only made 1/2 the recipe and I worked on a cookie sheet so cleanup is easier. Color some green for lettuce and some red for tomatoes, yellow for cheese, and leave some white for the onions. Make some pickles out of some microwaved green fruit roll up. Make some sesame seeds out of white fondant.

Build burger: bottom bun, cream cheese frosting “mayo”, cheese, chocolate cake “meat”, red dyed frosting “ketchup”, fondant “lettuce”, “tomatoes”, “onions”, fruit roll up “pickles”, then the top bun. We didn’t want too much sugar so all the fondant pieces are only around the edges and not in the middle of the cake. Stick sesame seeds onto bun with frosting.

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So if you have been keeping track, there’s still a half a chocolate cake left. With that I made these super sweet and super cute cupcake pops. Original recipe from bakerella! If you haven’t seen her site yet, go visit her site! It’s great. She was even on the Martha Stewart show.

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Basically crumble the cake and mix in 1/2 a tub of frosting. I used cream cheese frosting. Don’t add too much! Mine was very moist. Mash that all together. Put in freezer to make it cold. When cold, roll into balls. It’s really messy. >.< Put them all on wax paper on a cookie sheet and freeze again. When cold, mush into molds for the cupcake look. I just used my fingers. Freeze again and melt the chocolate for the bottom of the cupcakes. Let the chocolate cool a bit so it’s not runny. Dip the cold brown lumps bottom side down into the chocolate, place bottom side up back onto the pan and stick in the candy stick. Freeze again and melt the top chocolate color. Repeat dipping but this time dip the top of the cupcakes. Sprinkle on sprinkles and stick them into a chunk of styrofoam or floral foam. Chill until chocolate coat hardens. Enjoy!

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sugar comaaaaa